Jalapeno Lime Cilantro Marinade

I found this recipe for a tasty jalapeño lime cilantro marinade but can’t find the source. Saving here for future use. Good for 4 chicken breasts. Ingredients:

  • 2 limes, juice and zest or 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon – ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 jalapeno, finely diced (optional)
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Cover Girl

“Change is good for the soul,” Mom texted me a few days ago. She was talking about table runners, but she’s right. Change is good, except for pennies. Seriously, why do they still even make those?

In the spirit of change being good, I pitched myself for a makeover for First For Women (think Cosmo for the menopausal). I actually quite like my beachy shoulder-length waves but I’ve been rocking that look for a couple of years now. Opening QED nearly killed me, and I’m finally back to feeling like myself and fitting comfortably into all my old clothes. It’s time for a new look and the pictures that come with it.

The good people at First For Women are kind and efficient and graciously gave my pitch the nod. Today was the day and I had to set an alarm and commute to lower Manhattan during rush hour. I do not miss that one iota.

Cate The editors chose this pic of Cate Blanchett as the inspiration for my makeover. I haven’t had my hair this short since that brat Laura gave me lice in 2nd grade and my inspiration was Dorothy Hamill. Even when 1/3 of my head was shaved to remove skin cancer, I managed to keep it shoulder length.

I emerged with a super short, chic haircut by Sho (a “ninja” as his co-workers call him, thanks to his deft scissoring skills) at James Corbett Studio. I scream, “I’M RICH, BIATCH!” Like a cross between Ruth Madoff and a Fox News anchor but not, you know, an asshole. Cate Blanchett better watch out or else I’ll, umm, be her stand in?

It makes me look and feel younger which is what that whole makeover thing is supposed to do. The cut was followed by a little boost of color to my naturally dirty blonde hair and makeup by Berta Camal. She’s a lovely talent who loves animals and gardening. As if all that weren’t enough, I got to play in front of Eric McNatt’s camera. The pics he let me preview were a knockout. I hope they pick one I love and that I can keep some to use.

Neck pillowI’m ever grateful they said yes to my pitch. What a great day. Now I’m going to wrap my hair in silk and sleep sitting up like those weirdos on planes using these things that look like elephant skin, so I can save this beautiful blowout till tomorrow when people I know will actually *see* me!

Keep your eyes peeled for the September 7th issue of First For Women next to the batteries, candy and horoscope scrolls at your local grocery checkout line!

HOMEMADE PINKBERRY FROZEN YOGURT

Yields: 4 servings
INGREDIENTS
For the frozen yogurt:
  • 3 cups non-fat or reduced-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (from 1/2 a lemon)
For serving:
  • assorted chopped fresh fruit (or your favorite froyo toppings)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Freeze the bowl of your ice cream maker according to manufacturer instructions.
  2. Whisk all frozen yogurt ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour into the bowl of your ice cream maker and churn until frozen. (This takes about 15 minutes in mine.)
  3. Scoop immediately for soft-serve (delicious!) or store in a covered container in the freezer. My preference is to place in the freezer for 30-60 minutes before serving to harden the yogurt up just a bit and ensure that it doesn’t melt immediately. Top with fresh fruit and enjoy!

Skinny Mint Chocolate Milkshakes

 

Thick & creamy mint chocolate milkshakes without all the calories and fat. Only 5 simple ingredients! Add chocolate protein powder and/or a handful of spinach if you like…so many ways to tweak it.

Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 1 large frozen very ripe bananas, peeled & sliced
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract

Directions:

  1. Make sure you have a strong, powerful blender that will blend up the frozen banana.
  2. Add all of the ingredients to the blender, in the order listed, and blend until thick, creamy, and smooth – about 3 minutes.

Additional Notes:

  1. The milk can be any milk you like: skim, 1%, 2%, almond, soy, coconut.
  2. The yogurt can be any yogurt you like: vanilla Greek yogurt, plain Greek yogurt, plain yogurt, vanilla yogurt. Non-fat or low fat. Same for milk, of course.
  3. Add more milk to thin it out. You can always add more peppermint extract and/or cocoa powder for a stronger minty and/or chocolate taste.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie

I’ve been making this single-serving of a crazy flavorful, low-fat, high protein smoothie for myself and double it if Christian is home.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 banana, peeled, sliced, and frozen
  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (I sometimes skip this and just make it PB&B.)
  • 1/2 cup non-fat, plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Splenda, honey, maple syrup, or agave…whatever sweetener you like. (I actually stopped adding Splenda as an overripe banana is plenty sweet for us.)
  • 1 Tablespoon peanut butter (Any kind you like but we prefer all natural, i.e., the only ingredient listed is peanuts.)

Directions:

  1. Make sure you have a strong, powerful blender that will blend up the frozen banana.
  2. Put all of the ingredients into the blender, in the order listed, and blend on high until thick and smooth.
  3. Drizzle glass with 1 teaspoon of chocolate syrup (optional) and enjoy!

Additional Notes:

If you prefer a less sweet smoothie, you can leave out the honey. Add more peanut butter for a stronger peanut butter taste. Add more milk to make the smoothie thinner, if desired. Add 1 cup of your favorite greens for added nutrition. So many ways to play around with this simple smoothie!

QED Update

Today I met with three dudes named Z, Fritz and Cyclone. I’m ready to start a boy band or a World of Warcraft team. Also met with Katya an NYC architect now living in Brussels who just happens to be in Astoria for three weeks and agreed to draft up a quick plan for the bar. Serendipitous!

Thanks to Cyclone Jjs for swinging by from Canarsie to donate an XLR cord and microphone covers. Fritz is building the stage and singing to Jamaican dance music as I type this. I’ll paint the third coat on bathroom walls & ceiling once Fritz leaves. Ceiling tiles arrived as planned, and I booked Jenn Dodd for a character building class & graduation show. Details to come.

The stage is almost finished at QED: A Place to Show & Tell! I’m sneaking in early in the morning to “bury” a few things under the stage before it’s sealed up. If the whole thing goes belly up, some dude is gonna find a little gift during demolition.

Stage finished and primed, another coat on about 3/4 of the bathroom, 2/3 of ceiling tiles in place. Huge thanks to John O’DonnellJoe GardenLiam McEneaney & Christian Finnegan for the helping hands and good company. Very satisfying day. Now to fall asleep on the couch sitting upright like the tired, old lady that I feel like.

Oh, yeah, and wires from walls cut and capped, walls spackled, lighting chosen thanks to Eric Vetter‘s friend Tamora and plans drawn by my new architect friend thanks to Cathryn Lavery.

 

 

QED Progress Report

Progress on QED: A Place to Show & Tell this week.

— I got the kitchen cabinets, granite from the backyard, an interior door and a cabinet island all removed. The huge exhaust fan is being removed, too.
— Stripped the windows of the old signage & cleaned of the sticky residue then covered the windows with craft paper.
— Requested estimates for replacing the big sign above the windows.
— Decided to replace the ugly, stained drop ceiling with these, most likely. Waiting for samples of white, sand & latte to make sure on the color.http://www.proceilingtiles.com/Stratford-Ceiling-Tile-Sand.html
— Got a 3-month liability insurance plan bought & paid for so people can come in and paint, work, help with no worries.
— Established a Con Edison account.
— Rounded up some tree stumps from the cabin to turn into little side tables.
— A million other things like pricing equipment & furniture, emailing possible vendors for food & beer, vacillating on design ideas.

Am woefully behind on emails because of the above & Christian’s Off-Broadway musical. Donations and ideas and help are ALL welcome & appreciated, but I might be late or remiss in getting back to you. ***Regular email is always the best way to reach me so I can more efficiently keep track.***

I’m most in need of help finding cool ideas for classes, teachers, performers, and the physical stuff like tables, chairs, glasses, anything you see at a bar or cafe I probably need. For example, I bought a paper towel dispenser for the bathroom for $5 at a reuse center, snagged bunch of mason jars & old wooden crates, a coffee maker for $5, two old picture frames that I turned into bulletin boards & a window pane that will become something TBD.

Jim Henson’s Studio Visit

We had a lovely visit with Christian’s old high school pal who is working across the street from our apartment at Jim Henson’s Studios while her daughter is at a two-week intensive at the American Ballet. The studios aren’t open to the public so it was a nice little coincidence that she was working so close to our apartment making it easy for us to horn our way into a private tour. We weren’t allowed to take pictures of any of the creatures beyond the entryway (see my photos below) because they’re all disembodied and/or hanging on curtain rods as they’re built or repaired. Gotta keep up the illusion that they’re alive, ya know?

This I learned: Big Bird’s feathers are all individually hand-stitched along the stem (?) to reinforce them and help slow down the decay and prevent breakage. Each and every individual feather. THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS. He’s huge!

It’s not a big warehouse or studio and actually is a quiet little creative space tucked behind an unassuming door on a generic floor of the Standard Motors Building. Everyone is relaxed and happy because, DUH, they work making Sesame Street, Muppets and Fraggle Rock characters among other things, but also because there are no computers. They don’t need them. They’re making stuff with their hands. So nice.

North Platte’s Town Hall Event

Big thanks to the folks of North Platte, Nebraska for inviting me to speak at their Town Hall Lecture Series. Past speakers have included some very big names including my inspiration, the lovely Jeannette Walls, author of THE GLASS CASTLE.

My sister-in-law drove all the way from Missouri to meet up and brought my nieces along for the trip. It was great learning how to loom rubber band bracelets, teaching them how to make things with Bucky Balls, touring Buffalo Bill’s ranch and, generally, just seeing their pretty faces. The girls were mostly happy about my hotel pool and seeing their cousins while I’m pretty stoked about my bull horn turned beer bong necklace.

BUT…the reason I was in town was to give a speech about my life turned memoir and what BURN DOWN THE GROUND means in the literal and figurative sense. There were about 400 people in the lovely Neville Center, including students from the special high school for “troubled” kids. I had no idea they were going to be there but was overjoyed when I found out they were. I hope my story and message about choices and reinvention resonated with at least ONE of them.

Huge thanks to Keppler Speakers and the amazing ladies of North Platte. Who knows if our paths will ever cross again but I will carry the experience with me forever and always.